In a refreshing departure from many fantasy novels, Scott Lynch's characters are not superhumans possessed of some extraordinary power, but survive on the strength of their own wits. The stakes are high, but not ridiculously so. The world isn't about to be destroyed, or thrust into an endless dark age. Much as the first book in this series, The Lies of Locke Lamora, this is a heist/fantasy novel. The protagonists are not immune to failure, and the story seems driven more by it's characters, than by an ultimate goal, which makes it a pleasure to listen to. The characters are possessed of a strange morality, and are humanized by the situations in which they are conflicted by practical concerns, and their desire to adhere to their own code of ethics. Success is never guaranteed in this series so far, which leaves me sympathizing with the characters own frustration, and keeps the tension strong. Locke and Jean don't wander from one startling, incredible success to another, and so the journey is never boring.
The audio narrator is crisp and precise, speaking with a smooth cadence, and does an excellent job with voices and accents, further enriching this atmospheric book.
If your reading this Mr. Lynch, get back to writing (and thank you).
This book was largely a collection of movie cliches.
Examples include a literary version of the action sequence where somebody has just hacked a computer and the progress bar is filling painfully slowly while a desperate fight is underway. A hackneyed climactic showdown between bitter rivals, who go at it hand to hand, and culminates with the "good guy" staying his hand and saying something like "If I did it, I'd be just as bad as you." To which, the "bad guy" responds with a Wrath of Khan style cry of anguish.
The characters are paper thin, and predictably pop back into the story just in time to save somebody from certain death.
If you've watched any mediocre action movies from the past 40 years, there's probably nothing new here for you.
I gave it a second star because there were a couple good turns of phrase here and there.
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